Here is an item that appears to have received no media coverage yet. The Friends of Hastings Park, posted this message: Park Board Chair John Coupar released a statement today regarding his “deep concerns about the future of Hastings Park under the new PNE governance model” which would remove Park Board representation and oversight over Hastings Park. Community input even further reduced!
As it is the only available information at the moment, we carry the original statement by Park Board Chair John Coupar here, a media release by the Non Partisan Association, dated 5-June-2015. The bolding is ours.
ACTION: The meeting where this topic will be discussed is Standing Committee on City Finances and Services (Wednesday, June 10, 2015, starting 9:30 am – agenda here). If you would like to speak at this meeting, please call Bonnie Kennett, Meeting Coordinator, at 604.873.7269 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also wish to write or speak directly with members of City Council. (This proposal comes as quite a surprise. We are not aware of prior indications from the City that this particular proposal was coming. But now you have four days’ notice.)
Park Board Chair John Coupar Expresses Deep Concern about the Future of Hastings Park under new PNE Governance Model
Recommendations contained in City of Vancouver report will strip elected Park Board representation from the PNE Board and eliminate Park Board oversight of Hastings Park
Vancouver, B.C., June 5, 2015 [NPA media release] – Park Board Chair John Coupar is expressing deep concern over plans by the City to eliminate elected Park Board representation from the PNE Board of Directors. The governance change is contained in a report that will be presented to Vancouver City Council next Wednesday, June 10, 2015 (click here for the report – PDF).
Coupar says the new governance structure will concentrate power and control – and the fate of Hastings Park – in the hands of just one publicly elected official from City Council.
“The lack of elected Park Board oversight for one of our city’s largest parks represents a huge step backward,” says Coupar. “Let’s keep the ‘park’ in Hastings Park.”
Over the past 20 years, Coupar says, the Park Board has been dedicated to adding green space to Hastings Park, including the Sanctuary, the Italian Garden, Plateau Park, and improving greenway connections throughout the site. He is concerned about a possible change in direction at Hastings Park in the absence of elected Park Board oversight; a change that could move things away from re-establishing the site as a premier destination park in the city.
In May 2013, the Park Board Commissioners passed a unanimous motion calling for Hastings Park to be governed by the Park Board as outlined in the Hastings Park Governance review. All Commissioners – NPA and Vision – agreed that it was the best option for achieving transparency and accountability in decision-making and increasing public access to the park’s green space and recreational uses.
Historically, Hastings Park is the Park Board’s second park dating back to 1889, just two years after Stanley Park was established. The original intention was for Hastings Park to be a premier destination park in the northeast corner of the city.
Media call or text John Coupar at 604-818-2756 or email email@example.com